Florida shooting: Gunman storms Parkland high school leaving at least 17 dead and up to 50 injured
Police surrounded Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where the ‘heavily armed’ shooter, wearing a gas mask, opened fire with a ‘long’ gun at just after 2pm.
Cops confirm it remains an active shooter situation although there are reports that a student was seen fighting with the gunman in a classroom.
Police believe they know who the gunman is and describe him as a student and member of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Authorities said he was wearing a hoodie and has red hair and freckles.
Coral Springs police have advised people to avoid the neighborhood.
The school district stated that the shooting happened shortly before dismissal time when students heard what sounded like gunfire.
Desperate parents and relatives of students still locked down in the high school rushed to the scene to find out if their children were among the injured.
One mother, Michelle, whose daughter is inside, said there at least 20 students and teachers still barricaded in the school buildings. The unnamed mom said her daughter sent her a text that said: ‘There’s been a shooting in school … and it’s for real.’
Speaking outside the police perimeter, she said: ‘She was texting me up until about four minutes ago and now she’s not responding and I’m getting nervous. Last she texted me she was in a building from across where the shooting was at. I’m on pins and needles because she isn’t responding to me now.’
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement, ‘The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.’
Photographs taken by students inside the school show they are crouching behind piles of chairs and hiding behind desks.
Details to follow.